Perfect Recipes For Cleaning Out Your Pantry

Who knew spring-cleaning could taste so good?

Spring-cleaning typically involves dusting, scrubbing and organizing almost every room in the house. And while your initial focus might be on decluttering your closet, there's one important area you're probably neglecting: the pantry.

Long-lost products tend to pile up inside those cupboards throughout the year. Maybe there was a buy-one-get-one sale on canned chickpeas four months ago, or perhaps you thought your recipe called for twice the amount of black beans than it actually did. While staples like rice, beans, pasta, chickpeas and lentils will last for quite a while, it's all too easy to set them, forget them and let them go to waste.

Take a break from Kondo-ing your shoe collection and make good use of everything that's been hiding behind those cabinet doors with these nine creative recipes.

① Chickpeas

This protein-rich legume's possibilities extend way beyond hummus. Try your hand this hearty one-pot pasta meal

② Black Beans

When you think of black beans, tacos are probably the first thing that comes to mine. However, you can combine these savory favorites with quinoa and sweet potatoes for a hearty veggie burger.

③ Pasta

Transform any old, boring box of dried pasta into this creamy and decadent mac and cheese.

④ Kidney Beans

Give your dinner a much-needed fiber boost with this rich and flavorful Persian chicken stew.

⑤ Cannellini Beans

Let those luscious white beans inspire you to step outside your comfort zone and attempt this traditional French cassoulet

⑥ Long-Grain Rice

Jazz up any standard rice dish by adding puréed cucumber and diced avocado

⑦ Canned Tomatoes

Revolutionize a simple can of tomatoes by turning it into shakshuka, an Israeli dish consisting of eggs poached in a cumin- and cinnamon-spiked tomato sauce.

⑧ Quinoa

Last night's quinoa can become tomorrow's breakfast with this easy almond-quinoa energy bar recipe. 

⑨ Dried Red or Green Lentils

Lentils act as the secret ingredient in this authentic Indian vegan sweet potato dal.